Arizona’s 1864 Abortion-Ban Law Stands Firm

Written by Elizabeth Harris.

The Arizona Supreme Court has decided a near-total abortion ban from 1864 can be enforced. This ruling puts Arizona among the states with the strictest abortion laws. They’re basically calling it murder.

Standing by Historical Legislation

The 1864 law, predating Arizona’s statehood, treats abortion as a serious felony, with exceptions only to save a woman’s life. This decision challenges recent laws and could close many abortion clinics in Arizona. It’s a move that respects the deep roots of Arizona’s legislative history.

A Pause for Further Review

The court is pausing its decision for 14 days to allow a lower court to review “additional constitutional challenges.” Attorney General Kris Mayes has voiced strong opposition, promising not to enforce the law. This stance has sparked a nationwide conversation, with leaders like President Joe Biden expressing concern over the ruling’s impact on women’s freedoms.

Political Reactions Across the Board

From Vice President Kamala Harris to Donald Trump’s campaign, the ruling has drawn attention from all sides of the political spectrum. While Democrats push for repeal, the response from Republicans highlights the importance of state sovereignty in such decisions.

The Road Ahead

The ruling opens a 14-day window for potential appeals. Governor Katie Hobbs suggests focusing on a November ballot measure to secure abortion rights in the state constitution. This strategy could offer a direct response to the court’s decision, reflecting the will of Arizona’s voters.

Voter Impact and Future Implications

This decision could significantly influence Arizona’s political landscape, especially with upcoming elections. Both supporters and opponents of the 1864 law are preparing for a robust debate on abortion rights, potentially leading to a constitutional amendment that would change the state’s approach to abortion.

Our Take

Arizona’s Supreme Court ruling is a testament to the state’s commitment to its foundational laws and the protection of life. While the decision has ignited debate, it’s a reminder of the importance of upholding the principles that have guided Arizona for over a century. As we look to the future, it’s crucial that we continue to engage in thoughtful discussions about our laws, always with respect for life at the forefront.

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